Nicole Malanga / Multimedia Director
FIU is a public institution, which means that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution governs university actions regarding free speech. FIU also has regulations to address the topic. The regulations were created in an effort to strike a balance between speakers, the University community and regular operation of the University.
Free assembly areas around campus were established by the university’s administration to be centrally located and have high visibility for the expression of free speech, while allowing for the normal operation of the University to continue.
While groups or individuals are constitutionally allowed to exercise their right to free speech on campus as long as they do not interrupt, disrupt or impede campus operations, they’re encouraged to gather in these assembly areas and register with the Graham Center at MMC and the Vice Provost Office at BBC. University officials say that they encourage groups and individuals to gather in free assembly areas because they are high visibility areas and are better equipped to provide safety for the speakers and audience.
FIU students are free to exercise their right to free speech anywhere on campus however, this exercise of free speech must not interrupt, disrupt or impede the normal operations of the university. These limited areas include within 50 feet of the following: residence halls, buildings where entrance and exit or the building’s activities would be disturbed, the Children’s Creative Learning Center, FIU libraries or buildings where child care, elder care or health care are being provided.
Detailed University guidelines can be found on the Student Affairs Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution website, under “demonstration guidelines” and on the FIU Board of Trustees Regulations website under “demonstrations.”’